Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Andromeda s1, ep 7: "The Ties That Blind"

(TV show)

NEILL says:

As part of our current week of space-themed reviews, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to watch and review a random episode of the science fiction TV series Andromeda. I have never seen Andromeda nor indeed do I have any idea what it is about. All I know is that it is a science fiction TV series starring Kevin "that guy who was in that thing that was like Xena but with a dude" Sorbo.1 I thought it would be fun to review something with absolutely no background or familiarity, to judge it solely on its effectiveness as a dramatic presentation, free of any pre-existing bias or preconception.

Here is the episode summary, which I read before proceeding:

Andromeda s1, ep7
"The Ties That Blind"

Beka is unexpectedly reunited with her con-artist brother when a Wayist courier ship asks Andromeda for help after being attacked. Rafe Valentine claims to be a devout Wayist, making the Andromeda a prime target for Restorian attack, but does the conman have a hidden agenda?
Here were my observations upon reading the above.
  • Oh God.
  • "The Ties That Blind"? Really?
  • One of the characters is called "Rafe Valentine".
  • Seriously, maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
  • "Wayist"? "Restorian"? Suggests some kind of appallingly cackhanded religious allegory.
  • There's going to be lots and lots of talking, isn't there?
I even went so far as to jot down my predictions for what exactly would happen in the story, based on this description. These read:

Act 1) Brother introduced, seems charming. Kevin Sorbo is suspicious of him.
Act 2) Kevin Sorbo learns that Brother is a wrong 'un. Tries to tell 'Beka' (love interest?) - but she gets angry with him and tells him to GO TO HELL
Act 3) Faced with some incontrovertible proof of Brother's wrong-'un-ness, 'Beka' is given opportunity to turn him in / blow him up / similar (DRAMATIC CLIMAX), but lets him go. Promise of redemption for Brother? Ends on bittersweet rapprochement between 'Beka' and Kevin Sorbo.

Now, I'd like to be all smug and sit here and tell you that this cynical and sneering caricature of a plot was, in fact, exactly what did happen in the episode, but I can't honestly say that it did. What I can honestly say is that it would have been much better if it had.

As it turned out, events went like this:

Act 1) Brother introduced, seems charming. 'Beka' is suspicious of him. Kevin Sorbo smiles faintly smugly at everyone. Several of the worst actors ever to be paid money to act talk about religion extensively and excruciatingly.
Act 2) Neill turns off television, literally unable to bear it any longer.

That's right. Reader, I gave up. I made it through approximately 22 minutes before I abandoned my sacred reviewer's duties, thought to myself "seriously, I'm not getting paid for this" and threw in the towel. I think that we've established on this blog that I have a pretty high tolerance for crap, so believe me when I say that this was something special. Suffice to say it displayed every cliche of bad science fiction, which would have been forgivable were it not for the fact that those cliches were literally all it was. I'm not even going to talk about it any more, as it would only depress me and annoy you. Let's all go and have a nice cup of tea and try and forget it ever happened. Does that sound nice? A nice cup of tea?


1 I'm just kidding. I know exactly who he is, he's Kevin "Hercules" Sorbo.

Buy Andromeda - Season 1 on Amazon now!, hang on, DON'T.

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